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Archive for eCO-LUXE

Cheap & Chic DIY ecoLuxe Headboards via [lovely undergrad, copycat chic, curbly,and allthingsgd]


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One of the easiest ways to spruce up a boring bedroom is by dressing up the bed. But pillows, bedsheets, and a pretty comforter only go so far. Here are some diy headboard ideas so that you can give your bed a little extra ooomph!

Above: For this “Tall Order” headboard featured at BHG (Better Homes & Gardens), an inexpensive artist’s canvas was covered in fabric and propped behind the bed. I particularly like this project because the canvas could be re-covered if you want to change you color scheme or it could moved around the room if you no longer wish to use it as a headboard. I do think, however, that it should be fastened to the wall in some way to avoid falling on your head during sleep. Some kind of adhesive hooks might just do the trick?
Above: If you’re feeling especially ambitious or crafty, a diy-upholstered headboard may be just the project for you. Click here for BHG instructions on creating this luxe headboard using medium-density fiberboard, batting, and your choice of fabric. (Apparently it takes only three hours and no special tools are required!)
Above: This “Letter Perfect” headboard shown on BHG is dedicated to all you bookworms and future novelists out there. Collect new or vintage letters of varying sizes and colors flea markets, antique shops, and craft-stores… and put ’em up on the wall with some double-sided tape, poster putty, or adhesive hooks (depending on the material and weight of your letter).
Above: Hey, globetrotters… you may like BHG’s “Map Quest” headboard project. Simply use decoupage medium to adhere paper road maps to an old headboard. (Note: Do not, under any circumstances, decoupage the dorm-provided headboard… it will damage the school’s furniture.) For a dorm-safe approach I would recommend either doing this to a headboard you own and bringing it to school… or decoupaging a flat piece of plywood and temporarily attaching it to the headboard the school provided you with.
Above: Add some timeless romance to your dorm by borrowing the “Screen Star” idea from BHG. Simply place a folding screen between your headboard and the wall. Wrought iron is always gorgeous, but there are a variety of screen available out there. Plus, a vertical screen will draw the eye upward.
Above: BHG’s “Perfectly Padded” idea is a new take on the old upholstered headboard. I absolutely adore this idea. Simply hang a bench cushion by it’s ties from wall-mounted hooks. I think those adhesive hooks are pretty much ideal for this project. (Just make sure that they are all attached to the wall at the same level so that your cushion isn’t crooked.) You could also put a twist on this diy by hanging the cushion over the long part of your bed instead of at the headboard. It could give your bed a daybed like.
Above: Isn’t this BHG project pretty? This “Elegant Illusion” also happens to be a piece of cake. While you’re not allowed to paint the walls at school, vinyl decals are a great alternative. I’m sure if you shop around you’ll be able to find a vinyl headboard decal. Or you could stick other decals to the wall and create your own idea of a headboard. I think one of those chandelier silhouette decals would be quite eye-catching over a bed.
Above: So this BHG idea, called “Pop of Color“, is the easiest, most convenient, and easiest headboard project. So if you’re not crafty, on a small budget, or simply change your mind a lot… give this diy a chance. Simply drape a panel of fabric over the headboard. Then tuck the ends under the mattress to keep it in place. Yup… it’s that easy. With several pieces of pretty, patterned fabric on hand, you could change your headboard’s look on a whim.

Above: This “Paper Headboard” from I heart Norwegian Wood on Flickr is super easy and super stylish. The headboard design was simply drawn onto and cut out of thick, white poster board and stuck to the wall.

Above: This “Scrapbook Paper” headboard (also from I heart Norwegian Wood) is what I’m leaning towards doing in my own dorm room. I was first inspired by a $13 Paper Wall, but it took some surfing around to find a photo of what I wanted to do… which is to attach scrapbook paper in different colors and patterns to the wall above my bed. I think I may go all the way up to the ceiling though in my room. This can be done by simply attaching scrapbook paper squares to the wall with double-sided tape, adhesive strips, or poster putty. 

Above: I love the headboard in this bedroom belonging to Flickr user kimhas6cats. It’s a different take on using a screen as a headboard. It’s her screen that’s really the key. It seems that it was just made for hanging things… like scarves, artwork, etc. It’s really quite a fabulous idea. And considering I personally own over twenty scarves… I’m keeping my eyes open for a screen like this. Imagine all the other things you could hang from it! So many possibilities.

Final Word:

If you’re creative, crafty, and innovative… there is a variety of ways to customize your bed and your dorm in general. But I do stress over and over again that it’s soooo important to read your residence hall contract and handbook so that you know what you are allowed to do decor-wise in the dorm and what is prohibited. Every college has different rules. If you don’t understand something in the contract or handbook, e-mail your residence hall director or dormitory staff. Be informed, be safe, and be creative. 🙂

I’m going to call attention to a couple of my favorite blogger DIY projects. These ladies both made their own gorgeous headboards inspired by designer beds for a substantial savings! What’s not to love? I’m seriously considering making myself a new headboard, even though the one I have is less than a year old….lol.

First up, we have Freckles Chic with her awesome linen headboard with nailhead trim. Cost of making this headboard? Only $73!

Looks pretty similar to West Elm’s Nailhead Upholstered Headboard…King size = $449.

Next, Holly over at Life in the Fun Lane made a glamorous white headboard (directions here)in keeping with her unique clean cottage chic style. Just love it!

This is an easy and cheap way to get a headboard that looks like Williams Sonoma Home’s Fairfax Bed with out the pocket emptying cost!

Yeah yeah, we’ve all seen enough headboards, right? Well, imagine this long upholstered headboard with a queen sized bed in front of it and two sparse, but interesting side tables on either side of it. It would function as a headboad, of course, but also as wall art across a wide expanse of wall. That’s been on my drawing board for a long time, and now someone has gone and done it. As usual  Cococozy has compiled a nice little assortment of fantastic photos of  yet more headboard alternatives for your consideration.

created at: 06/03/2010

created at: 06/03/2010

Above: Decal Wall Stickers Headboard (those with patience could paint this)

Block of Blue Headboard

created at: 06/03/2010

Photo by Eric Roth

Wingback Headboard

created at: 06/03/2010

Photo: Richard Powers

Floral Screen Headboard

created at: 06/03/2010

Photo: Polly Wreford

I received a reader request from my fabulous friend Beth who’d like to see some DIY headboard options for her darling daughter Maya. Well ladies, here’s what I was able track down–hope you see something you like!

The first thing that came to mind is a DIY headboard made from a piece of picket fence. My mother-in-law did this in her guest room and I just love it. Nice and simple, and oh so cute. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from my mother-in-law’s house, but here is one from Better Homes & Gardens. I also found a slight variation at HGTV.com.

Another great idea is this simple DIY canopy, which would be so cute for a little girl’s room–and you could change out the fabric as she grows and her tastes mature!

The fun fabric and shape of this charming DIY upholstered headboard keeps it looking young and playful.

Another simple great idea–again from Better Homes & Gardens. This headboard is made from plain old bi-fold closet doors painted with stripes.

I love this chic suggestion from Domino–painting a faux headboard right on your wall using a color just a couple shades lighter than your wall color. Don’t want to buy a whole other can of paint? Just mix some white paint with your existing wall color paint and you’re good to go.

Although not necessarily what comes to mind for my friend’s daughter Maya, here are two more ideas from BHG that I just love–Pic 1 is made from a painted paneled door, and Pic 2 is made with weathered shutters.

As you may have noticed by now–Better Homes & Gardens is an excellent site for finding some beautiful DIY headboard ideas! To see these DIY headboard ideas and more, check out their slide show of 29 Cheap & Chic Headboard Projects.

And if anyone has any other great ideas for Beth’s daughter, we’d love to hear them!

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Meet Dan Phillips CEO of Phoenix Commotions… He Builds Dreams Through His Green Economy Homestead Project in Texas via [N.Y.T.]


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One Man’s Trash …

Michael Stravato for The New York Times

CYCLES Dan Phillips builds houses out of salvaged items, like frame samples, which he used on a ceiling.



AMONG the traditional brick and clapboard structures that line the streets of this sleepy East Texas town, 70 miles north of Houston, a few houses stand out: their roofs are made of license plates, and their windows of crystal platters.

They are the creations of Dan Phillips, 64, who has had an astonishingly varied life, working as an intelligence officer in the Army, a college dance instructor, an antiques dealer and a syndicated cryptogram puzzle maker. About 12 years ago, Mr. Phillips began his latest career: building low-income housing out of trash.

Michael Stravato for The New York Times

Dan Phillips with a “tree house” he built and rents to low-income artists in Huntsville, Texas.

In 1997 Mr. Phillips mortgaged his house to start his construction company, Phoenix Commotion. “Look at kids playing with blocks,” he said. “I think it’s in everyone’s DNA to want to be a builder.” Moreover, he said, he was disturbed by the irony of landfills choked with building materials and yet a lack of affordable housing.

To him, almost anything discarded and durable is potential building material. Standing in one of his houses and pointing to a colorful, zigzag-patterned ceiling he made out of thousands of picture frame corners, Mr. Phillips said, “A frame shop was getting rid of old samples, and I was there waiting.”

So far, he has built 14 homes in Huntsville, which is his hometown, on lots either purchased or received as a donation. A self-taught carpenter, electrician and plumber, Mr. Phillips said 80 percent of the materials are salvaged from other construction projects, hauled out of trash heaps or just picked up from the side of the road. “You can’t defy the laws of physics or building codes,” he said, “but beyond that, the possibilities are endless.”

While the homes are intended for low-income individuals, some of the original buyers could not hold on to them. To Mr. Phillips’s disappointment, half of the homes he has built have been lost to foreclosure — the payments ranged from $99 to $300 a month.


The Recycled HousesSlide Show

The Recycled Houses

Building Homes with Recycled Materials on Living Smart with Patricia Gras

via [YouTube]

Some of those people simply disappeared, leaving the properties distressingly dirty and in disrepair. “You can put someone in a new home but you can’t give them a new mindset,” Mr. Phillips said.

Although the homes have resold quickly to more-affluent buyers, Mr. Phillips remains fervently committed to his vision of building for low-income people. “I think mobile homes are a blight on the planet,” he said. “Attractive, affordable housing is possible and I’m out to prove it.”

Freed by necessity from what he calls the “tyranny of the two-by-four and four-by-eight,” common sizes for studs and sheets of plywood, respectively, Mr. Phillips makes use of end cuts discarded by other builders — he nails them together into sturdy and visually interesting grids. He also makes use of mismatched bricks, shards of ceramic tiles, shattered mirrors, bottle butts, wine corks, old DVDs and even bones from nearby cattle yards.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a complete set of anything because repetition creates pattern, repetition creates pattern, repetition creates pattern,” said Mr. Phillips, who is slight and sinewy with a long gray ponytail and bushy mustache. He grips the armrests of his chair when he talks as if his latent energy might otherwise catapult him out of his seat.

Phoenix Commotion homes meet local building codes and Mr. Phillips frequently consults with professional engineers, electricians and plumbers to make sure his designs, layouts and workmanship are sound. Marsha Phillips, his wife of 40 years and a former high school art teacher, vets his plans for aesthetics.

“He doesn’t have to redo things often,” said Robert McCaffety, a local master electrician who occasionally inspects Mr. Phillips’s wiring. “He does everything in a very neat and well thought-out manner.” Describing Huntsville as a “fairly conservative town,” Mr. McCaffety said, “There are people who think his houses are pretty whacked out but, by and large, people support what he does and think it’s beneficial to the community.”

Michael Stravato for The New York Times

Other materials used in Mr. Phillips’s houses include bull vertebra for decoration.

Indeed, city officials worked closely with Mr. Phillips in 2004 to set up a recycled building materials warehouse where builders, demolition crews and building product manufacturers can drop off items rather than throwing them in a landfill. There’s no dumping fee and donations are tax deductible because the materials are used exclusively by charitable groups or for low-income housing.

Michael Stravato for The New York Times

WHIMSY For the windows on the house, Mr. Phillips used crystal platters and lids of Pyrex bowls, creating a series of playful porthole-like accents.

“I’ve been recycling all my life, and it never occurred to me to recycle a door,” said Esther Herklotz, Huntsville’s superintendent of solid waste. “Dan has changed the way we do things around here.”

Officials in Houston also consulted with Mr. Phillips before opening a similar warehouse this summer, and other cities, including Bryan, Tex.; Denham Springs, La.; and Indianapolis have contacted him to inquire how to do the same.

Phoenix Commotion employs five minimum-wage construction workers but Mr. Phillips also requires the labor of the home’s eventual resident — he tends to favor a poor, single mother because his own father walked out on him and his mother when he was 17, which left them in a tough financial situation. “My only requirement is that they have good credit or no credit but not bad credit,” he said.

One of his houses belongs to Gloria Rivera, a cashier at a doughnut shop, who built the home with Mr. Phillips and her teenage son in 2004. Before then, she lived in a rented mobile home. Constructed almost entirely out of salvaged and donated materials, the 600-square-foot wooden house is painted royal blue with various squares of red, maroon and fuchsia tile glued to the mismatched gingerbread trim.

Inside, there is imported Tuscan marble on the floor, though the tiles are not of uniform size, and bright yellow stucco walls that Ms. Rivera said she textured using her thumb. “It’s not perfect but it’s mine,” Ms. Rivera said, touching the stucco, which looks like very thick and very messy butter cream frosting. “I call it my doll house.”

Phoenix Commotion homes lost to foreclosure have resold to middle-class buyers who appreciate not only their individuality but also their energy efficiency, which is also part of Mr. Phillips’s construction philosophy.

Susan Lowery and Alfredo Cerda, who both work for the United States Department of Homeland Security, bought a Phoenix Commotion house after the intended low-income owner couldn’t manage the mortgage. It has mosaics on the walls and counters made of shards of broken tile and cushy flooring made out of wine corks. “My wife likes the house because it doesn’t look like everyone else’s, but, being a guy, what I like is that it has a galvanized metal roof that I’ll never have to replace,” Mr. Cerda said.

Mr. Phillips said it bothered him when his low-income housing became “gentrified.” But if it leads to an acceptance of recycled building materials and a shift away from cookie-cutter standardized construction, he said, “I’m O.K. with it.”

Although it has a social agenda, Phoenix Commotion is not a nonprofit. “I want to show that you can make money doing this,” Mr. Phillips said.

He said he earned enough to live on but he was not getting rich. While he declined to be more specific, he allowed that the business has become more profitable as he has gained construction experience. It now takes six months to build a home rather than the 18 months it took when he started.

But Mr. Phillips said his biggest reward was giving less-fortunate people the opportunity to own a home and watching them develop a sense of satisfaction and self-determination in the course of building it.

An example is Kristie Stevens, a single mother of two school-age sons who earned a college degree last spring while working part time as a restaurant and catering manager. She has spent the months since graduation hammering away on what will be her home.

“If something goes wrong with this house, I won’t have to call someone to fix it because I know where all the wires and pipes are — I can do it myself,” she said. “And if the walls are wonky, it will be my fault but also my pride.”

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LALA LU: the cutest organic baby fashions on the planet. via [Va$htie]

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shop: LALA LU – Organic Baby T-Shirt Company

The infant apparel line is owned by LUZ. She was ALWAYS a beast in
art school; and has started an organic baby t-shirt company. it is
inspired by and modeled by her daughter AMAYA…check it and maybe cop
some cute gear for a baby in your life ;)

LALA LU brings the bay area a locally owned organic
baby tshirt company. Not only CA and Bay Area inspired designs but with
long awaited culturally inclusive motifs for the culturally rich
lifestyles and families that our bay area babies represent! Coming
soon…NYC series! Stay tuned!!”

*”L is for LUMPIA”

*”S if for SUSHI”

*”D is for DIM

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Light Bright: Natural Teeth Whiteners via [womansday and glo]

10 Natural Ways to Get (or Fake) Whiter Teeth

Get a brighter smile with these chemical-free

By Amanda Greene

When it comes to saying “cheese,” do you suddenly find yourself
tight-lipped? Yellow teeth—whether they’re from too much coffee,
smoking or just bad genetics—can feel like a serious beauty setback. But
you’re not alone: There are tons of whitening products on the market
now, from creams to gels to miniature capsules, all devoted to teeth
bleaching. If applying peroxides and other chemicals seems a bit too
harsh, though, don’t worry. There are plenty of other natural ways
to score a gleaming grin. Check out these 10 ideas to help make your
smile appear brighter, au naturel.

Mix It Up

Combine 1/2 tsp baking soda with 1/2 tsp table salt to make a teeth
cleanser, says Dorie Byers, author of Natural Beauty Basics. Add one
drop of breath-freshening peppermint essential oil to the mixture. Wet
your toothbrush, then dip it into the mixture and brush. The
particles in the baking soda polish the surface of your teeth, while a
chemical reaction with the water lightens stains. To avoid damaging
your enamel, don’t use this method more than once a week.

Snack Away

“Snack on saliva-producing foods like apples, pears, strawberries,
celery and carrots,” says Thomas Connelly, DDS, a New York City
cosmetic dentist. The additional saliva they produce helps remove
bacteria from your mouth and whiten your teeth.

In The Clay Mold

According to Byers, kaolin clay delivers a gentle abrasive action to
teeth and can be used as a natural whitening agent.
For breath freshening, a drop of peppermint or clove essential oil
can be added. Dampen your toothbrush and dip it into the mixture, then
brush. To avoid damaging your enamel, don’t use this method more than
once a week.

Drink Up

“Swish water in your mouth for 30 seconds right after eating,” says
Dr. Connelly. “It will help prevent the food you just ate from
staining your teeth.”

Get Milk

Dr. Connelly also recommends
adding a splash of cream or milk to black coffee or tea — it changes
the chemistry of the beverage, which makes it much more difficult for
stains to adhere to the tooth’s surface.

In the Tube

Try a toothpaste that uses all-natural ingredients. Dental hygienist
and manager of Tom’s of Maine’s Oral Care Division Susanne Kuehl
recommends Tom’s of Maine Simply White Toothpaste, which removes
stains with sodium fluoride. Another smart pick — and a favorite of
Dr. Connelly’s — is Miessence Organic Mint Toothpaste. It uses
spearmint and cinnamon to freshen breath.

Go Green

Load up on spinach and other dark green veggies, like broccoli and
kale. These leafy greens contain a mineral compound, which produces a film that covers
teeth and protects against stains

Just Say No

Avoid soda, which contains acids — like phosphoric, citric, malic
and tartaric acids — that can strip your teeth’s enamel. If you have
to indulge once in a while, use a straw. It’ll help keep your teeth

Lipstick Trick

Kuehl recommends this quick trick to fake whiter teeth: Wear a
blue-tinted lipstick; the cool undertones will make teeth gleam in
comparison. We like CoverGirl Wetslicks Amazemint glosses: They were
designed for this very purpose, plus they contain breath-freshening
peppermint oil.

Why Not Try One of These Very Stylish EcoLUXE D.I.Y. Projects?… via [ReadyMade]

The New Design Crew

Springtime brings with it two design fairs native to New York City
flora: the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), and BKLYN
DESIGNS. Taking place in May, both draw top designers who share their
new lines of furniture, accessories, and other objects. Here, five
young designers who fill the “ones-to-watch” bill–with a project from
each that you can make at home.

Moss Panels

Moss Panels

Springtime calls to mind nature bursting into impressive display.
For some–namely furniture and design fans–it also conjures up images
of a different sort: two esteemed design fairs native to New York City
flora, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair
. Taking place in May, both draw top designers to share
their new lines of furniture, accessories, and other objects. Over the
years, the shows have proven to open doors for a new batch of New
York-based designers. Here, five who fill the “ones-to-watch” bill–with
a project from each that you can make at home. It’s time to get to
know their genius.

by Kiera Coffee

Photos by Bryan McCay

Some designers invent their collections from one dedicated notion or
theme. BOA’s line of eco-conscious beds, storage units, stools, and
tables is more the result of a chain of inspired reactions. Her pieces
have all been born from the need for something that did not exist. And
though her starting points vary, her aesthetic is handsomely focused.
BOA uses almost exclusively nontoxic, recycled, and sustainable
materials, though, she says, “I don’t want the pieces to scream green,”
and in fact they don’t. She adds, “I also don’t want everything to
look like a matched set,” which is why she brings cohesion in tone but
does not endlessly repeat details. In the coming months BOA will expand
her line of upholstered pieces and also her meditation accessories.
She would also like to engage communities that have often been left out
of the larger green conversation on issues of sustainability. “It
doesn’t always cost more money, and the topic shouldn’t be elitist,”
she says.

Brooklyn, New York

    Rig a vertical wetland by sewing live moss into shadow boxes for
    your wall. 

    1. Cut a section of window screen—½ inch smaller (on all sides) than
    inside dimensions of your frame. Thread the needle with a generous
    length of fishing line, knotting at the end.

    2. Lay screen down and insert needle from the back of the screen so
    the knot is not visible. Start sewing moss onto the screen, beginning at
    one corner and lightly overlapping layers of moss until you form a
    solid panel across the entire screen.

    3. Remove any cardboard backing from frame and discard. Transfer
    plexiglass from front of frame to back (in place of cardboard),
    attaching with any built-in tabs.

    4. Turn shadow box front side up (recessed side facing you). Squirt
    light layer of super glue along inside edges of plexiglass, and
    crisscross in the middle (glue pattern should be a square with an X
    inside it).

    5. Insert finished moss panel in frame and press lightly to adhere.
    Let dry for 30 minutes. To water moss, use a spray bottle and mist

Moss Panels




Creeping Toy Caterpillar

Creeping Toy Caterpillar

Springtime calls to mind nature bursting into impressive display.
For some–namely furniture and design fans–it also conjures up images
of a different sort: two esteemed design fairs native to New York City
flora, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair
. Taking place in May, both draw top designers to share
their new lines of furniture, accessories, and other objects. Over the
years, the shows have proven to open doors for a new batch of New
York-based designers. Here, five who fill the “ones-to-watch” bill–with
a project from each that you can make at home. It’s time to get to
know their genius.

by Kiera Coffee

Photos by Bryan McCay

Lisa Mahar
New York, New York

Designer, toy-store owner, and architect Mahar introduced her first
line of chic, modernist toys in 2008. Her products are a colorful,
gorgeously wrought collection of puzzles, blocks, wooden books, bath
toys, and more. They address the complex issues of child development,
playfulness, and aesthetics all at once. Mahar says, “Before having my
first child, I wasn’t really interested in toys or retail at all.” Which
might explain why her designs appeal to childless adults, parents,
and, of course, kids. “I try to make toys that are conceptually clear
as well as beautiful. If you give kids beautiful things, you show them
respect,” she explains. And she still keeps her focus keenly on each
toy’s purpose. According to Mahar, “My view of success is about hitting a
balance between great craftŃwhich is about love for the process, the
object, and the recipientŃand creating things that are affordable and
accessible. If you get that balance right, even manufacturing becomes
part of the larger community because that’s the step that brings it to
the world.”

    String a variety of wooden balls together to make a charming, wiggly

    1. Drill through center of the 2 1⁄2-inch balls with the 1⁄4-inch
    bit. On one of those balls, mark an X 1 inch from existing hole. Wrap
    tape around the 13⁄64-inch drill bit, 1⁄2 inch from tip. Drill into the X
    using tape as a guide for where to stop. This is the hole for dowel
    connection from body to head.

    2. Drill into the center of the 2-inch ball, stopping at tape mark
    to make the other end of dowel connection.

    3. Cut piece of dowel to 7⁄8 inch with the handsaw. Make sure it
    fits in holes, but don’t glue yet.

    4. Mark two Xs on the 2-inch ball (the head) 1 inch apartĘand 1⁄2
    inch from the center of ball (for antennae). Drill with taped bit.

    5. Drill into each 3⁄4-inch ball (antennae tips) up to tape. Cut two
    pieces of dowel to 2 3⁄8 inches (to become the antennae).

    6. Push clothesline through four 21⁄2-inch balls.

    7. One inch from the center of each ball, mark two Xs (for wheels).
    The front ball gets four wheels so make two more marks 1⁄2 inch from the
    Xs. Drill into Xs 3⁄4 inch deep.

    8. Collect all 11⁄4-inch balls (future wheels) and drill through. On
    all but one, attach countersink for #8 fasteners and drill into one
    side of holes deep enough to countersink the screw.

    9. Sand all balls, paint, and let dry. Repeat as needed. Glue on
    eyes, dowel connections to body, head, and antennae tips.

    10. Screw on wheels with washers between wood surfaces.

    11. Push rope through balls and tie at front and back. Use last
    11⁄4-inch ball for pulling toy, knotting the rope on both sides.

Creeping Caterpillar



    • Four 21/₂ -inch wood balls
    • 1⁄4 -inch wood drill bit
    • 1⁄4 -inch dowel rod
    • Two 3⁄4-inch wood balls
    • Eleven 11⁄4 -inch wood balls (for wheels)
    • 3⁄16 -inch-thick rope (like a clothesline)
    • Paint
    • Wood glue
    • 20mm wiggle eyes
    • Ten #8 washers


    • Drill
    • Ruler
    • Pencil
    • Tape
    • 13⁄64-inch wood drill bit
    • One 2-inch wood ball
    • Wood handsaw
    • Countersink for #8 fasteners
    • Ten #8 × 1/₂ -inch flathead wood screws with a Phillips drive
    • 220-grit sandpaper

Ostrich Egg Lamp

Ostrich Egg Lamp

Springtime calls to mind nature bursting into impressive display.
For some–namely furniture and design fans–it also conjures up images
of a different sort: two esteemed design fairs native to New York City
flora, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair
. Taking place in May, both draw top designers to share
their new lines of furniture, accessories, and other objects. Over the
years, the shows have proven to open doors for a new batch of New
York-based designers. Here, five who fill the “ones-to-watch” bill–with
a project from each that you can make at home. It’s time to get to
know their genius.

by Kiera Coffee

Photos by Bryan McCay

Matt Austin
Brooklyn, New York

A respected casein-paint muralist for many years, Austin recently
debuted a full line of furniture, lighting, and toys. He has also
innovated numerous finishes that he now applies to an elegant line of
his own furnishings. These include a graphite finish with a masculine
glint (applied to a table) and a secret recipe for glow-in-the-dark blue
pigment (applied to a wooden lightbulb that glows for 12 hours after
the electric lightbulbs are turned off!). Taking much inspiration from
European design, Austin gives great attention to form and juxtaposes
that with a subtle sense of humor. Perfect examples are his side table
shaped like a tooth and his dining table sporting one graceful leg in
the shape of a femur. Austin tempers his respect for design with an
infectious, modern irreverence. “I appreciate the seriousness of
something most when I poke a little fun at it.”

    Trim this naturally beautiful ovoid to create a perfect hanging

    1. Draw a line around circumference of ostrich egg about ⅔ of an
    inch from top. Cut egg along line with Dremel (outdoors or in
    well-ventilated room), then smooth edge with sandpaper.

    2. Drill a hole in the top of uncut end of egg using a brick or
    ceramic drill bit. Make hole large enough to feed electrical cord
    through (about ¼ inch).

    3. Cut ½ to 1 inch of fabric away from electrical cord at either end
    to expose the wires.

    4. Place 1 inch of shrink-wrap around frayed fabric edges and shrink
    with a heat gun (leaving wires exposed).

    5. String the electrical cord through the threaded rod.

    6. Feed the exposed wires of the electrical cord through the metal
    cap of the disassembled porcelain socket. Attach those exposed wires to
    the socket screws on the porcelain socket. Reassemble the porcelain

    7. Screw the threaded rod to the porcelain socket and set aside.

    8. Feed the electrical cord through the hole in egg, then put vase
    cap on cord, as well as the knurled nut, decorative nut, and second
    knurled nut (in that order) so they are in a row on the electrical cord.

    9. While holding the socket inside the egg, feed the threaded rod
    through the hole in the egg. Then place the vase cap over the shaft of
    the threaded rod.

    10. Screw on the knurled nut until it is firmly holding the vase cap
    to the egg, and then screw on the two other nuts. Attach the wires to
    the plug and place a lightbulb into the socket.

    Ostrich Egg Lamp


      • Ostrich egg
      • Fabric-covered electrical cord
      • Black shrink-wrap tube
      • Porcelain hanging lightbulb socket
      • 1-inch length of 1⁄4-inch hollow threaded rod
      • 1.5 -inch-diameter brass vase cap
      • Two 1⁄4 -inch knurled nuts
      • One 1⁄4 -inch decorative nut
      • Electrical plug
      • Small round 40-watt lightbulb


      • Pencil
      • Tape measure
      • Fine-grit sandpaper
      • Drill
      • 1⁄4-inch brick or ceramic drill bit
      • Scissors
      • Dremel Rotary Tool
      • Heat gun


    DIY Hammock

    Springtime calls to mind nature bursting into impressive display.
    For some–namely furniture and design fans–it also conjures up images
    of a different sort: two esteemed design fairs native to New York City
    flora, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair
    (ICFF) and BKLYN
    . Taking place in May, both draw top designers to share
    their new lines of furniture, accessories, and other objects. Over the
    years, the shows have proven to open doors for a new batch of New
    York-based designers. Here, five who fill the “ones-to-watch” bill–with
    a project from each that you can make at home. It’s time to get to
    know their genius.

    by Kiera Coffee

    Photos by Bryan McCay

    A self-proclaimed “DJ of design,” Alex Valich works in his Brooklyn
    studio mixing design references from numerous cultures. His Slave Betty
    teapot is a classic British form sporting a Japanese rope-tied
    harness. His Alma Fortune cup and saucer take Turkish tea-leaf reading
    as inspiration for their patterned glazes. Valich’s vision for
    lighting, rugs, furniture, and tableware is happily unpredictable. And
    in a sense, every DJ–a collector of elements from sources the rest of
    us might not have–is a curator at heart. Valich proves this by curating
    shows of up-and-coming designers whenever possible. He says, “I want
    to give young people some of the opportunities I had when I was
    starting out.” He also wants to promote the idea of avoiding
    overdesigning. “I don’t try to reinvent the wheel (or the fork); I want
    to use the toolbox that the world already is,” he says. This spring,
    Valich’s work will pop in collaborative projects with fellow designers.
    He also intends to create pieces of his own, but the only thing we
    know is that we should, of course, expect the unexpected.

    Alex Valich
    Brooklyn, New York

      Weave construction materials—which won’t fade or absorb water—into a
      truly comfortable spot for lounging. 

      1. Cut fencing into two 30×74-inch pieces, trimming the outside
      squares so that weaving has an edge. Lay out a rectangle with all
      conduit pieces, attaching elbows to create the “loom.”

      2. Overlap both pieces of snow fencing so squares alternate. Lay on
      floor in center of conduit frame.

      3. Unroll cording and mark the middle of each spool. The middle will
      be your starting point for each row of weaving.

      4. Hold the middle of one piece of nylon cording. Loop the middle of
      cording once around top corner of a 30-inch side of conduit frame.
      Weave cording in and out of snow fencing going down the long side. Keep
      tension even.

      5. At bottom, repeat loop around conduit and weave back up. Repeat
      to make four complete passes.

      6. Tie off end of nylon cording using a standard square knot (Google
      it for how-to). Leave 3-4 feet of excess to be used later.

      7. Repeat same weaving process on opposite side of snow fencing and
      in the middle of snow fencing. Weave any additional rows to create
      desired pattern. Tie all ends with square knots.

      8. Cut remaining nylon cording into two 37-foot pieces. Take the
      center of each and place one at each center of the short sides of your
      conduit. Wrap one strand of cording around right side of conduit (to
      secure fencing and hide conduit) and the other strand around left side
      of conduit. Tie off with a square knot.

      9. With all cording tied off, create “triangle” shape at each end
      (to hang hammock from) by pulling excess cording together at each side
      evenly, holding cording 1-1½ feet from conduit, and tying into a large

      10. Create a second loop knot ½ inch away (so you can hang it).
      Repeat on the other side.

      11. Unscrew metal conduit elbows from frame and remove 74-inch
      lengths of conduit.

      12. Find trees and hang your hammock!

    DIY Hammock



      • 13 feet snow fencing (the orange kind with holes)
      • Two 30-inch pieces of 1/₂-inch metal conduit
      • Two 74-inch pieces of 1/₂-inch metal conduit
      • Four 1/₂-inch metal conduit elbows
      • 6 spools of 75-foot nylon cording


      • Scissors
      • Tape measure

Mod Medallions

Mod Medallions

Springtime calls to mind nature bursting into impressive display.
For some–namely furniture and design fans–it also conjures up images
of a different sort: two esteemed design fairs native to New York City
flora, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair
. Taking place in May, both draw top designers to share
their new lines of furniture, accessories, and other objects. Over the
years, the shows have proven to open doors for a new batch of New
York-based designers. Here, five who fill the “ones-to-watch” bill–with
a project from each that you can make at home. It’s time to get to
know their genius.

by Kiera Coffee

Photos by Bryan McCay

Make your own paper pendants and medallions in three quick steps.

Basing much of her work on iconic references, Alissia Melka-Teichroew
tends to turn the world on its side just a little bit…all the time. A
good example is Melka-Teichroew’s diamond ring, which plays with
perceptions of classic jewelry by being entirely made of acrylic and
keeping only the characteristic shape of a gem. She has also cleverly
used broken teacup handles as inspiration for nylon wall hooks. Fond of
playing with materials, tweaking the basic properties of familiar
objects, and re-presenting them to us anew, Melka-Teichroew repeatedly
makes us smile. She relates, “I’m trying to give my point of view, but I
want people to have room to do anything they want; wear the Ring A Day
or hang it on the wall!” Melka-Teichroew has also been expanding her
line of jewelry–bubbly necklaces, bracelets, and rings (think pop beads
from Mardis Gras, only better)–for spring.

Alissia’s website

    1. Click to download
      the medallion pattern
      . Print it out.
    2. Fold pattern according to the indicators, cut using the knife and
      cutting mat, and glue edges where needed.
    3. Glue pin back to your new brooch, allow to dry, then adorn yourself.

Mod Medallions



    • Thick paper
    • Glue (for paper)
    • Hot-glue gun (or super glue)
    • Pin back


    • Mat knife
    • Cutting mat

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The Local River: An Awesome Sustainable Food Design Project. via [Dezeen] Date


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Local River by Mathieu Lehanneur


French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has created Local River, a concept for a domestic “refrigerator-aquarium” that breeds freshwater fish for eating and grows vegetables at the same time.


Inspired by the Locavores movement of people who source food grown locally to avoid pollution and ensure freshness, the project would allow people to produce their own food at home.


Vegetables growing in floating pots would help purify the water by removing nitrates and other minerals.


The concept will be presented at Artists Space Gallery in New York from 25 April.

Here’s some info from Lehanneur:

Mathieu Lehanneur
Anthony van den Bossche, spin doctor.

Local River, home storage unit for fish and greens

The Locavores appeared in San Francisco in 2005 and define themselves as ‘a group of culinary adventurers who eat foods produced in a radius of 100 miles (160 km) around their city’. By doing so they aim to reduce impact on the environment inherent to the transport of foodstuffs, while ensuring their traceability.

Local River anticipates the growing influence of this group (the word ‘locavore’ made its first appearance in an American dictionary in 2007) by proposing a home storage unit for live freshwater fish combined with a mini vegetable patch. This DIY fish-farm-cum-kitchen-garden is based on the principle of aquaponics coupled with the exchange and interdependence of two living organisms – plants and fish.

The plants extract nutrients from the nitrate-rich dejecta of the fish. In doing so they act as a natural filter that purifies the water and maintains a vital balance for the eco-system in which the fish live. The same technique is used on large-scale pioneer aquaponics/fish-farms, which raise tilapia (a food fish from the Far East) and lettuce planted in trays floating on the surface of ponds.

Local River responds to everyday needs for fresh food that is 100% traceable. It bets on a return to favour of farm-raised freshwater fish (trout, eel, perch, carp, etc…), given the dwindling supplies of many saltwater species due to over-fishing. It also demonstrates the capacity of fish-farmers to deliver their stock live to a private consumer as a guarantee of optimum freshness – impossible in the case of saltwater fish that has been netted.

Local River aims to replace the decorative ‘TV aquarium’ by an equally decorative but also functional ‘refrigerator-aquarium’. In this scenario, fish and greens cohabit for a short time in a home storage unit before being eaten by their keepers, the end-players in an exchange cycle within a controlled ecosystem.

Materials: glass: blown & thermoformed, water pump, joints.
Dimensions : Large : 64 x 29 x 39 inches, Small : 29 x 18 x 36 inches.


Mathieu Lehanneur, designer. Graduated from ENSCI-Les Ateliers in 2001; is currently exploring possibilities in nature and technology for their break-thru potential in functions and their capacity to work magic. Made his international début with a series entitled ‘Elements’ (VIA Carte blanche 2006) and the ‘Bel Air’ filtering system for plants (2007), six objects that form a domestic ‘Health Angels’ kit for rebalancing everyday physiological needs (such as lack of sunlight in winter) and countering aggression factors in urban settings (noise & air pollution).

Anthony van den Bossche, age 36, independent ideas man and curator. Set up Duende Studio in 2007, for events design and press relations. Moved full-time into design in 2001 after working as a journalist, ideas man and producer in television. Has mounted exhibitions such as “Design@home.se’, ‘Norway says’ and ‘Eden ADN, genetic design’ (Biennale de Saint-Etienne 2006) that highlight functional and decorative improvement of living organisms. Member of the purchasing jury of the National Fund for Contemporary Art, decorative arts department, and creator of the world gazette website http://www.resetdesign.com (2002-07).

Alexandra Midal, professor of theory & history of design at Ecal (Switzerland) and School of Fine Arts of Toulouse (FR), former directress of Frac Haute-Normandie, now an independent curator of exhibitions. Has published several books and catalogues, including ‘Appartement témoin, les annees 50′, ‘Appartement témoin les annees 60′, ‘Antidesign : petite histoire de la capsule d’habitation en images’, and in 2008 ‘Tomorrow Now-When Design Meets Science Fiction’.

–posted by Marcus Fairs.

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Chic Designer Floating Abodes via [TDG]


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Seven cool homes that float

Gone are the days when houseboats were pokey little barges, all of a similar design. Today, you can find some truly amazing, designer floating homes in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Many are eco-friendly while offering the style-conscious homeowner a unique living space.

Here we present seven really cool floating homes:

schwimmhaus houseboat by architects confused-direction
(Photo: Confused-Direction)


This elegant houseboat, designed by German architects Confused-Direction, is ideal for those looking for a compact, stylish, and environmentally friendly floating home. Built using reclaimed wood from an old farmhouse and other sustainable building materials, the green roof adds to the eco-friendly appeal. The simple-yet-sleek interior design offers all the conveniences you could want and is thoroughly modern and unique. The Schwimmhaus was designed to float around or to stay docked permanently.

dubai houseboat
(Photo: X-Architects)

Dubai Houseboat

As with most architectural designs coming out of Dubai, this houseboat is simply stunning. The 220-square-meter home was cleverly designed by Dubai-based architectural firm X-Architects. Set on two catamaran beams, this two-story structure is practically encased solely in glass windows, allowing sunlight to flood the interior. It’ll take the average person more than a few bank loans to get their hands on the swish fittings and up-market features of this chic and spacious floating home, even if it’s just to rent for a week!

arctic houseboat from covey island boatworks
(Photo: Covey Island Boatworks)

Arctic Houseboat

The term “really cool” takes on new meaning with this amazing houseboat, developed specifically for the Arctic winter. Inspired by the Inuit practice of turning their hunting boats upside down for winter shelter, the builders of this unique structure — Covey Island Boatworks — took the idea to a new level by creating a prefabricated, highly insulated home that can endure harsh climates. Equipped with solar, wind, and marine power systems, this self-contained unit can be placed virtually anywhere. The interior is cozy and compact and contains all the modern conveniences most people crave.

floating solar house by mark kingsley architects
(Photo: Mark Kingsley Architects)

Floating Solar House

Environmentally conscious, UK-based Kingsley Architects have reinvented caravan holidays with these unique and eco-friendly solar-powered houseboats. Apparently, the ingenious design enables the structure to be totally self-sufficient for up to a year at a time. It can also be docked at a floating home community to utilize the site’s power, fresh water, and sewage treatment facilities. Similar in design to a camper van, this 75-square-meter houseboat has an open kitchen and living area space with enclosed sleeping areas in the back.

summer houseboat by vladimir plotkin for archstoyanie
(Photo: Vladimir Plotkin / Archstoyanie)

Summer Houseboat

This completely unique design by Russian architect Vladimir Plotkin was created for the 2008 Archstoyanie Summer Festival in Russia, where the theme was Noah‘s Ark. A rather odd-looking structure, the giant disc-like living space is suspended above a floating platform and is accessed via ladders. The interior is very compact, but by no means claustrophobic. The lattice walls ensure constant ventilation and the large portholes provide ample natural light.

cosmic muffin boat converted from an airplane
(Photo: http://www.planeboats.com)

Cosmic Muffin

This extraordinary home certainly gets tongues wagging. Once owned by Howard Hughes, the 1930’s Boeing 307 Stratoliner was converted into a houseboat and is now a famous tourist attraction in Fort Lauderdale. Surprisingly roomy inside, it houses a small sleeping area and bathroom at the rear of the aircraft, while the main hull is dedicated to living space that features a large bar area and even a PC workstation.

luxury houseboat in kerala india
(Photo: http://www.keralagreenery.org)

Indian Luxury Houseboat

This beautiful houseboat is an ideal holiday home for those wishing to explore southern India without having to change hotels on a regular basis. This two-bedroom, three-bathroom luxury houseboat is fully air-conditioned and even has a Jacuzzi on board. All the crew are English-speaking, and there is a chef aboard to whip up amazing gourmet meals. What a wonderful way of seeing the rural area of Kerala!

From the staff of moneycompare.com.au

The Orchid Estate: An Eco-Friendly Dream House. via [Elite Choice]


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The Orchid: Eco-House Inks £7.2 mn Deal, Sets World Record

The Orchid

Money shines in the living room and surroundings of rich tribes. And why not when they have enough spare dough to burn! Take a peep into their lifestyle and the fact that how much cash they can afford to pay while thinking to ink deals for purchasing estates. Without pondering over so much, let’s consider the lately happened pricey deal of a Cotswold-based eco-house that got sold off for £7.2 million ($14.3 million). This ‘purely contemporary manor house’, modeled on a bee orchid established on the preserve got sold off last week to an unidentified buyer. The unknown buyer holding a profession in the entertainment business has plans to install a glass-sided badger set in the garden.

The Orchid

Word is around that Brad Pitt wanted to purchase this Orchid House, while Kylie Minogue has had a good stay there. With no details available about its eco-friendly appeal and enigma, one is hopeful that it may consume less electricity and should be dependent upon subversive pump and geothermal heating.

The Orchid

This elite estate is developed and designed by Sarah Featherstone.

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